Talbot Sunbeam Lotus + Homologation Model

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TALBOT SUNBEAM LOTUS Rally car

In 1979, following the creation of the Talbot brand out of the defunct Chrysler Europe, Rootes, and Simca, parent company PSA decided that the new division needed much publicity to boost its image. The result was a venture into motorsport, partly into F1, and partly into rallying. For the latter, Peugeot Talbot Sport UK was created. Talbot put its finances behind the Sunbeam-Lotus project, which had already been under development during the Chrysler era.

This car was built under the Group 4 rules of the time so it is by no means a Group B car. However, since it gave Talbot Sport the World Championship in 1981, the car’s homologation was carried over into Group B where it continued to see action sparingly up to 1986. It is worth to mention that this particular rally car was driven by many of Group B’s best drivers; Tony Pond, Henri Toivonen, and Stig Blomqvist. It also served as a technical basis for the creation of the legendary Peugeot 205 T16.

SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class
  • B/12
  • Group 4
Homologation: B-227 (click # to see papers)
Production 1979~1986  Homologation

  • start: December 1st 1982
  • end: December 31st 1987
Engine
Type Lotus Type 911, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located front longitudinal
Displacement 2174 cc WRC: 2174 cc
Compression ratio 11.3:1
Output power – torque 245 HP @ 7000 rpm 256 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Materials block: aluminum cylinder head: alumimum
Aspiration
  • natural / normal
  • 2 Dell’Orto carburetors
Ignition electronic
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A N/A
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive ZF 4 speed manual
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratio N/A N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type steel monocoque chassis with roll cage, 3 door hatchback, arch extensions
Front suspension McPherson struts, coil spring, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Live axle, coil springs, radius arms
Steering system rack & pinion N/A
Brakes N/A N/A
Dimensions
length: 150.7 in (3829 mm) width: 64.1 in (1628 mm) height: 54.9 in (1395 mm)
wheelbase: 95.1 in (2415 mm) front track: N/A rear track: N/A
Rims – tires N/A
  • N/A
Dry/Unladen Weight Weight 1015 kg (2240 lb)
Weight/power 4.1 kg/hp (9.1 lb/hp)
Fuel tank N/A

HOMOLOGATION / PRODUCTION VERSION

Talbot Sunbeam
Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Before their demise, Chrysler Europe had already commissioned from Lotus a special version of the Sunbeam for Group 4 rally homologation. It was originally based on the Sunbeam 1.6 GLS, fitted with a stronger suspension, larger anti-roll bar, and a larger transmission tunnel. The main upgrade came from the Lotus 911 “slant” 4 engine. It was a definitive “hot hatch” or “pocket rocket” that got favorable reviews and much excitement from enthusiasts, in a time where conventional rear wheel drive was being replaced by the new standard of front wheel drive in such vehicles.

SPECIFICATIONS

Class Supermini / Subcompact 3 door hatchback
Production 1979~1981 # built: N/A
Engine
Type Lotus Type 911, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located front longitudinal
Displacement 2174 cc
Compression ratio 9.4:1
Output power – torque 150 HP @ 5750 rpm 150 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Materials block: aluminum cylinder head: alumimum
Aspiration
  • natural / normal
  • 2 Dell’Orto carburetors
Ignition electronic
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A N/A
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive ZF 5 speed manual
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratio N/A N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type steel monocoque chassis, 3 door hatchback, arch extensions
Front suspension McPherson struts, coil spring, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Live axle, coil springs, radius arms
Steering system rack & pinion N/A
Brakes
  • Front: 241 mm rotors
  • Rear: 203 mm drums
N/A
Dimensions
length: 150.7 in (3829 mm) width: 63.1 in (1603 mm) height: 55.3 in (1405 mm)
wheelbase: 95.1 in (2415 mm) front track: 52.8 in (1341 mm) rear track: 52.3 in (1328 mm)
Rims – tires 13 in
  • 185/70 HR 13
Curb Weight 960 kg (2115 lb)
Weight/power 6.4 kg/hp (14.1 lb/hp)
Fuel tank 41 litres

PICTURES & VIDEOS

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(C) Article by Jay Auger – website owner & author

  • Images & videos are the property of their original owners
  • All homologation papers are the property of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA): SOURCE

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(C) WELCOME TO THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GOLDEN ERA OF RALLYING